September 14, 2009

The Commons

Living on Earth had a beautiful definition of the Commons by writer Donna Seaman:

SEAMAN: Commons. A common, or commons, is land that belongs to an entire community. More specifically, it is open land held in common by the people of a town for shared pasturage or the gathering of firewood. As noted in A Gazetteer of Illinois in 1834 by J.M. Peck, "A common is a tract of which each owner of a village lot has a common but not an individual right. In some cases this tract embraces several thousand acres the common attached to Cahokia extends up the prairie opposite St. Louis." In her book Red: Passion and Patience in the Desert, Terry Tempest Williams notes that "most lands in the American West are public lands, a commons if you will, held inside a national trust: national forests, Bureau of Land Management lands, national parks, monuments, and refuges." I say, these are the commons of a global village, preserved with common sense and commitment to the common good.

Posted by Mary at September 14, 2009 12:57 AM | Environment | Technorati links |